ACL 2017 Round of 16 - 1st leg: Esteghlal 1-0 Al Ain
Tehran: Esteghlal will take a narrow one-goal advantage into the second leg of their 2017 AFC Champions League Round of 16 meeting with Al Ain of the United Arab Emirates next week after Alireza Mansourian’s side won a feisty clash between the pair 1-0 on Monday.
Rezaei netted from the penalty spot two minutes into injury time after Al Ain midfielder Lee Myung-joo had handled the ball at the end of a game that saw both teams reduced to ten men in the final 15 minutes.
Saeed Juma was given his marching orders 13 minutes from time for a scything challenge on Seyed Mohsen Karimi that saw Chinese referee Fu Ming give the midfielder a straight red card, while eight minutes later Farshid Esmaeili was sent off for retaliating against Al Ain striker Caio following an off-the-ball tussle between the two.
Esmaelil had the better of the few opportunities to fall to either team in open play during a tense game at the Azadi Stadium, with the striker finding the hands of Khalid Eisa with efforts in the second and 65th minutes before Rezaei’s spot kick earned the Iranians a slim advantage ahead of the return in Al Ain next week.